TUSTIN : New Dress Code Is Enacted at School

Baggy pants might be in this fall, but at A.G. Currie Middle School they're out--at least if they're worn "below the waist in a manner that exposes underwear and/or backside," according to Principal William Wingo.

A new dress code goes into effect as school opens this week at Currie and throughout the Tustin Unified School District.

"The purpose is to clearly state what our dress standards are," Wingo said. The long list of do's and don'ts, arrived at after consultation with community members and police officials, was mailed to parents a few weeks ago, he said.

Clothing that is not allowed includes Army fatigues or combat clothing, unhemmed cutoff shorts or pants, open-mesh shirts, micromini skirts, strapless dresses, thongs, combat boots and Army boots. Also banned is jewelry that might create a distraction or is unsuitable for school, Wingo said. For example, wearing 15 to 20 bracelets or extremely long earrings is inappropriate, he said, although earrings will not be measured.

Other no-nos are hats, headbands, bandannas, baseball caps, sunglasses without a prescription, and shirts that promote alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or an objectionable lifestyle.

"For example, Satan worshipers," Wingo said. "Not that we have any, but in the event they surface, we want to let them know we discourage that type of apparel."

Also prohibited are jackets or shirts with gang insignia or the Raiders logo, gang shoestrings, and other clothing and accessories associated with gangs.

"Basically, to simplify the whole thing, anything that promotes a lifestyle that interferes with the discipline of the school or is unsafe or is a major distraction . . . we're going to discourage," Wingo said. "We're concerned about possible gang activity in the area, so we're doing some things that will give students some guidelines."

Wingo said he does not expect any enforcement problems and will talk to students and their parents if any violations occur.

While many other schools in the district have either written or unwritten dress codes, none are as explicit as that at Currie, Supt. David L. Andrews said.

He said he hopes to have a districtwide dress code in place and approved by the school board by Christmas. The Currie dress code has been circulated among other district principals, who will each have input into the district policy, Andrews said.

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